Cocke County Tennessee reside Pyong Kon Eun was arrested last for allegedly buying black bear parts and ginseng. According to court documents, prior to this little slip up Pyong Kon Eun was a labeled a model citizen on both sides of the Pacific. Eun’s court-appointed attorney is trying to make the case that Eun’s extraordinary accomplishments warrant a probationary sentence for the Knoxville-based Korean-American.
Eun, who some called “Master Eun” and “Master Ping,” taught martial arts at the University of Tennessee for 15 years, and was selected as a representative to the 1985 World Games, according to Rosanna E. Brown, a federal public defender. The defendant, who also was an assistant UT swim coach in 1989 when the Vols won the Southeastern Conference championship, served in the South Korean equivalent of the U.S. Secret Service before emigrating to the U.S. in 1978, according to his attorney.
Master Ping allegedly bought bear meat and gall bladders and illegally harvested ginseng from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent, according to the federal prosecutor. He appeared on law enforcement’s radar in 2009 when they were investigating ginseng and oxycodone trafficking by Cocke County resident Johnny Grooms, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Smith.